Within two days, participants discussed the terms of the Bergen agreement, the minutes of the meeting and the revised draft of the agreement were drawn up at the end of the meeting. The agreement signed in Bergen in 2009 includes procedures for representing the Europe region on the committees of the WCO`s Political, Finance and Audit Committees. Delegates from the WCO region welcomed the Secretary-General`s messages and supported his calls to strengthen their commitment to the implementation of elements of the 21st Century Customs Strategy (C21). They discussed and agreed on how to design the concept of « Globally Networked Customs » (component 1 of C21), including the completion of a feasibility study and a proposal for a high-level working group. 1) The International Convention on the Harmonized System of Description and Codification of Goods (SH Convention) was adopted in 1983 and came into force in 1988. The nomenclature of HS`s multi-purpose products serves as the basis for tariffs and the production of international trade statistics. It comprises about 5,000 product groups, each identified by a six-digit code, placed in a legal and logical structure, with well-defined rules, to achieve a uniform classification. The HS is also used for many other purposes, including trade policy, rules of origin, controlled goods monitoring, internal taxes, freight rates, traffic statistics, quota controls, price monitoring, national accounts and economic research and analysis. 6) The Columbus program is a customs capacity-building program to promote customs modernization and the implementation of their standards to preserve and facilitate global trade. In 2005, the WCO adopted the Global Trade Safeguard and Facilitation Standards Framework, an international customs instrument with 17 standards that promotes security and facilitation of the international supply chain. Because of its complexity, the WCO has launched a capacity building program, called the Columbus Program, which focuses on assessing the needs of WCO members with the WCO Diagnostic Framework tool.
The WCO defines capacity building as « activities that strengthen the knowledge, capacity and behaviour of individuals and improve institutional structures and processes, so that the organization can achieve its mission and goals in a sustainable way. » 3) ATA Convention and Temporary Admission Convention (Istanbul Convention). The ATA Convention and the Istanbul Convention are all WCO instruments that govern the temporary admission of goods. The ATA system, which is an integral part of both conventions, allows the free movement of cross-border goods and their temporary introduction into customs territory with exemption from customs duties and taxes. The goods are covered by a single document, known as CARnet ATA and secured by an international warranty system. 2) The International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (revised Kyoto Convention or RKC) was originally adopted in 1974 and revised in 1999; The revised Kyoto agreement came into force in 2006. The RKC includes several key principles: transparency and predictability of customs controls; standardization and simplification of declaration and supporting documents; Simplified procedures for those mandated; Maximum use of information technology Minimum customs control needed to ensure compliance with the rules; The use of risk management and audit controls coordinated interventions with other border management agencies; and a partnership with trade. It encourages the facilitation of trade and the effectiveness of controls through its legislation, which details the application of simple but effective procedures, and also contains new and binding rules for their application.